Coca-Cola machine: Hugs, not drugs

An 1890s advertisement showing model Hilda Cla...
An 1890s advertisement showing model Hilda Clark in formal 19th century attire. The ad is titled Drink Coca-Cola 5¢. (US) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people go to rehab because they love Diet Coke so much. That might not be Coca-Cola’s marketing department’s greatest accomplishment so they’re trying something new. The much-loved Coca-Cola company is attempting to give back to society: in the form of a coke when you hug an inanimate object.

At the National University of Singapore, a Coca-Cola Hug Machine has been installed. This machine trades you a Coke for a hug and according to the people at Coca-Cola, this is a hug(e) success. Who wouldn’t want a free coke, though?

“Our strategy is to deliver doses of happiness in an unexpected, innovative way to engage not only the people present, but the audience at large. – via Coca-Cola

I dislike the fact that they equate a soda with happiness. Really, Coca-Cola? When I first saw this I thought, “hey, that’s cool, I wish there was one around here.” Then I thought about how much money Coca-Cola makes and that they could be putting their energies elsewhere and serve a better purpose. Give back in a way that actually matters. Like when you built some playgrounds for kiddies.

You know what’s a better idea, Ogilvy and Mather? You guys are the brain boxes behind this brilliant plan and yet I think you’re missing something. Get people to connect to the earth. Hug a tree and receive something that isn’t full of cancerous caramel coloring, bubbles, and sugar. I love a coke as much as the next person but hugging a machine is, all in all, pretty useless. There are other ways to get people to smile.

Some ideas: Give them some seeds to plant in exchange of a hug. Donate a dollar to a fund for the World Wildlife Foundation or help people find fresh water in third world countries. Provide a few facts about how Coke is helping out the world. Instead, they give you more of their product, which gets buzz but ultimately does nothing.

“We’re excited to work with The Coca-Cola Company in delivering what is really a very simple idea. All you need to do is give the Coca-Cola Hug Machine a hug and it will love you back, by giving you a free Coke. Something simple and engaging, that lifts people’s spirits and brings a smile to their face,” explained Louise Kuegler, Regional Business Director at Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific. – via Coca-Cola

How long before the coke vending machines start giving out Coca-Cola branded condoms in exchange for humping the machine?

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